The Rangers go for their 7th win in a row tonight as they take on the St. Louis Blues. The Blues, who lead the NHL in road wins, currently sit in second place in the Central division, with a record of 11-3-1.
Much of the Blues' success is due to the outstanding play of goaltender Jake Allen. When fellow goaltender Brian Elliott started struggling, Allen stepped up in a big way, owning a 7-3-0 record, with 1.53 GAA and .950 SV%. He is also on a shutout streak of 165:59, and hasn't allowed a goal on the past 96 shots he's faced. Here is the full Blues projected lineup:
Alex Steen - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko
Scottie Upshall - David Backes - Robby Fabbri
Martin Havlat - Scott Gomez - Troy Brouwer
Magnus Paajarvi - Kyle Brodziak - Dmitrij Jaskin
Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Carl Gunnarsson - Colton Parayko
Joel Edmundson - Kevin Shattenkirk
Dominic Moore will be a healthy scratch for the second game in a row - a first since he's returned to the Rangers - while Emerson Etem fills in on the fourth line. Vigneault noted that he wanted to stick with the same lineup the Rangers had in their 3-0 win over Carolina, saying of the Etem-Stoll-Fast line "They were strong on the puck, strong on their forecheck, strong on the backcheck. Their numbers as far as time in the offensive zone and opportunities were good. It's not an easy decision and it's not an easy conversation to have with a guy like [Moore], but I feel for tonight I just wanted to go with the same forwards." Here is the full Rangers projected lineup:
Rick Nash - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - J.T. Miller
Oscar Lindberg - Kevin Hayes - Viktor Stalberg
Emerson Etem - Jarret Stoll - Jesper Fast
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Dan Boyle
Keith Yandle - Kevin Klein
This game is going to be a big early-season test for the Rangers. They haven't faced a top-tier team in a little over a week, and will have to step up and play smart. Scoring on Allen isn't an easy task, but the Rangers will want to jump out to an early lead since Allen can steal games once he has a lead. Look for Rick Nash, who had a goal and an assist against Carolina, to continue getting that confidence back and put more pucks in the net.
Let's go Rangers.